Update: Adapting on the Row

We had a fabulous send-off and will post in detail to thank all the people involved. But first we wanted to share what’s been happening. It starts with this – you may have noticed on the tracker that we’ve headed back to land and done a bit of circling. Things have not gone according to plan, but we’re well and in good spirits despite some set backs. We have issues with the seats failing that caused us to return to land for a fix. We hit storms that forced us to hunker in place, There was a 20-minute period when none of the electronics worked. We also found salt in the watermaker. Fortunately, we have 30 gallons stowed.

So, as we must in life, we’ve adjusted. We’re not giving up, but we’re adapting. We knew when we started that there would be risks and unknowns. Now we know more than we did before. We’ll get back to land, get things fixed, and then reassess our next steps. It’s been discouraging but it helps to have the backing of so many incredible supporters and to hear all of your encouragement. That keeps us going through all of the frustrations.

Here’s how it has unfolded:

Captain Bryan Fuller

Monday, June 3, 10:39 am EST

Our primary tracking device failed. We have switch to the backup. It works, but you have to jiggle it to hold a charge

Captain Bryan Fuller

Tuesday, June 5, 10:40 am EST

Rough waves last night, flat today. Listening to Nirvana Unplugged.

Chris Martin, team advisor:

3:44 am

As you wake up this morning and check in on the tracker, you may be surprised to see the crew heading back towards land.

Firstly, the crew are all fine and in good spirits but they have had a failure of some of the bearings in the wheels of their seats. The team have assessed the situation and the number of spares they have available and decided to return to land for some additional work to rectify the situation.

It is normal for crews to need to change wheels on seats at least once during the trip but needing to do so after 4 days has got the crew understandably spooked and they don’t have enough spares to make 15 or more bearing swaps while at sea.

So the crew have decided to head back to land to effect repairs before heading out again.

It’s important to note that this is not an emergency situation and the crew are not in any danger because of this. I know several crews who have finished their ocean rows with seats which have stopped sliding during the trip and the crew can still move but this decision is a preventative measure to give the crew the best chance of a successful and fast row when they do set off again.
Think of this as a big training row. A great test of personnel and equipment before the real departure.

Captain Bryan Fuller

Wednesday, June 5th, 9 am EST

Equipment failure, gutted. Limping home to try again soon.

Everyone is ok, just bummed.

We were followed by a ten-foot shark for quite a while last night though. Unrelated to equipment failures:/

Captain Bryan Fuller

Wednesday, June 5th, 2:15 pm

The weather started getting rough

Our tiny ship was tossed

So we deployed the ocean anchor and are waiting it out.

Chris Martin, team advisor:

Wednesday, June 5, 5:08 pm EST

Dear supporters, you will have noticed that the tracker position seems to have stayed in the same position for the last few hours. Do not panic. The wind speed has increased throughout today, blowing hard from the south to the point where the crew has decided to deploy the parachute anchor.
This parachute is tied to the boat by a long rope and helps to keep yhe boat safe by ensuring the end of the boat is pointing into the inclement weather, not across it (which could result in capsize). The wind is due to top out tomorrow afternoon and then gradually decrease. At present, I would expect the crew to stay on para anchor until dawn on Friday. The lighter winds then will give them a better chance to row to a safe port on Cape Cod peninsular where they can effect their repairs, rather than being pushed north fast by the wind now and making a landing somewhere in Maine.

Captain Bryan Fuller:

Thursday, June 6, 7:57 am EST

Part 2 of problems, salt in the watermaker. Fortunately, we have 30 gallons stowed.

Chris Martin, team advisor:

Thursday, June 6, 10:14 am EST

The weather system of strong southerly winds has moved past the crew faster than expected, meaning they were able to retrieve the parachute anchor this morning and set course for land. At present, we’re hoping they might be able to get to Provincetown, but any land is good land, and the crew will likely be somewhat restricted by the weather so don’t book your tickets just yet. The crew continues to exude professionalism and endurance despite the challenging situation.

Elizabeth Gilmore:

Thursday, June 6, 5 am. EST

POV: the para-anchor is out. @klaraanstey and I got pretty cozy overnight in the aft cabin.

The weather is clearing earlier than expected and we hope to get underway soon.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment